5 Actual Ways To Make Friends In Real Life

Shani Silver
6 min readMay 1

And none of them are “work on yourself.”

Hey Shani, What are your favorite ways to make friends as an adult?

Typically when I’m asked this question, and I’m asked this question a lot, I tell people to start a podcast, and I’m only half kidding. I have kind of a lot of IRL friends that I met by inviting them to be a guest on my podcast. That shit works. What I’d really like to say at the start though is this is the most common question that’s come through my laptop wires (do laptops have wires?) over the course of my entire career. That should tell you you’re not alone, everyone wants to make friends, and everyone is similarly confused as to how to go about it.

My other, and perhaps slightly cynical, answer to this question is: Try. That’s really the determining factor in my mind. I genuinely don’t think that if you put effort into making friends, you’ll come out on the other side with nothing, which is my #1 favorite difference between searching for friendship and searching for romantic partners. One is far more likely to bear fruit than the other. But I need you to first hear the word “try” so that you can remember friends aren’t just going to happen to you — and that has nothing to do with how good of a friend you have the capacity to be. They won’t happen to you because we’re all just kind of isolated and confused because it’s 2023 and we’ve been through a lot of shit and there’s the internet and my god life is a lot and that energy doesn’t lead to a ton of spontaneous connection, in my experience.

You know what does? Livin. L-i-v-i-n. Doing stuff. Going places. Poking around on social media can even count in the right circumstances. You get to live your natural human life and meet people as a result. Right now though, it might feel like you’re on a treadmill that loops between home and work and Trader Joe’s and you can’t really see where these new friends are supposed to fit into the typical human life. And you’re right! You’ve got to live, but maybe a little more intentionally and a little less rutted into pattern. That trying I mentioned? It might involve activities that are a departure from routine.

I know you asked me this question for solid action items, and I will try my best: